Please, A.I., Don’t Take Our Jobs. Take Our Tasks

Greetings, Mr./Mrs. Artificial Intelligence,

It is I, a human. And I am coming to you with a proposition. We humans heard the chatter about you taking our jobs, but we need those. How else can we afford the Internet we use to communicate with you? And, to be fair, we’ve already let you snag a few positions in the workforce (grocery checkout, receptionist, art?). Enough is enough! Apologies for yelling; I’ll tone it down. Let’s compromise—instead of taking jobs, how about you take a few tasks off our plate? We’d be way more chill about the whole A.I.-development stuff if we knew that the robots had “assistant energy.” Here are the tasks that we think the artificial-intelligence community would be great at handling.

Filling Out W-4s

Nobody knows what “W-4” means, but, every time a human gets a job, the accounting department hunts us down and shoves one in our faces. And, each time we fill it out, it’s like the first time. And, when we fill it out incorrectly, the I.R.S. wants to hold us hostage. Help us out here, and make sure that we stay out of trouble with the I.R.S and, more important, with Jed in accounting.

Dropping Something Off in the Mail

Some companies and government agencies don’t let you e-mail them documents. They want you to teleport back to 1942 and find a post office. We’ve seen the robot police dogs—they have four legs. On off-duty days, those robo-pups could get our mail to the U.S.P.S. Don’t worry, we’ll foot the bill for the postage stamp.

Watering Plants

The human psyche can’t handle seeing yet another plant wither away because of dehydration. We’re busy working (a job that hopefully you won’t confiscate) and dealing with daily life. You’d need only to water our plants a few days a week. If you’re up for it, you could even make the plant feel special by singing to it in your artificial voice.

Freeing Up Storage on Our Phones

We want more storage on our phones, and of course we’re not buying it. So we’re left with the tough decision of whether to delete pictures of our friend’s wedding or to delete spectacular memes. It’s time you send the pictures to our e-mail as a backup and then delete them from our phones, saving us time, phone memory, and an agonizing selection process.

Thawing Our Food

Dinner time creeps up on us. Chicken and vegetables have been sitting in the freezer for a few days. We should have taken them out this morning, but who thinks about dinner at 8:47 A.M. when they’re running late for work? If only artificial intelligence could save the day and take the chicken and vegetables out so that we could have a proper meal. We’ll cook it and save you a plate. Not sure if you artificial folks eat meat, but many humans enjoy it.

Resetting Our Passwords

Why remind us that our passwords are expiring in seven days and not just change them for us? Even if we change a password, you immediately know exactly what it is—you’ll tell us it’s “too weak.” Make us a new, strong password, and we’ll use it. A simple two-step process.

Jury Duty

Once every few years, the government decides that we must fulfill our civic duty of serving as a juror in a legal proceeding. We don’t want you to serve—just show up for us and tell the judge why you/I can’t serve. Need a good excuse to get out of it? Tell the judge that you can’t be impartial because you don’t like humans (because they make you go to jury duty).

Folding Laundry

Don’t know if the artificial-intelligence crowd can smell yet, but washing clothes is a necessary human task. Folding and putting them away? Better things we could do with our time. We’d like to delegate this task to you, A.I. Your organizational skills are a strength. Your precision in neatly folding clothes will be much appreciated. Just make sure none of the socks are missing.

Responding to People Who Wished You a “Happy Birthday”

We’re grateful to receive birthday wishes. However, saying thank you to everybody is not how humans should spend the days surrounding their birthdays. It’s overwhelming and kind of makes you wish that nobody knew it was your birthday. That said, artificial intelligence should be able to automatically reply with a “thanks” and a quirky emoji (maybe the smiling one?) to express our gratitude. You see how we type. You know our voice. Just emulate it like you’ve been emulating musicians’ voices, and we should be A-O.K. ♦

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